Onyx Ashanti
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Onyx Ashanti

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Music

Press


"But best of all was an African American musician, Onyx Ashanti, or so said the sign by his CD's for sale titled The Future Was Yesterday, playing sounds crystal beautiful and deep blue true on his digital wind sax...There was something so perfect in that scene: a fusion of space and sound so evocative that when you turned your eyes from the performance, looking out over the waters of the Bay, past Alcatraz and Sausalito to The Future Was Yesterday of all the San Franciscos of the world, well, in that moment, you suddenly found yourself no longer part of the crowd at Pier 39 down on the Embarcadero, but swept up into an open place of art 'in whose openness everything is other than usual.' - Arthur Kroker, The Will to technology and the culture of Nihilism (2004) - Arthur Kroker,


"A night of cutting-edge beats and melodies performed on the latest state- of-the-art gear awaits those who check out the Funky Nasty Futuristic Music" - Commercial Appeal (Aug 21, 2008)


"He is not only an excellent musician and craftsmen on his instruments, but he is also exceedingly inventive. In my estimation, ... he is one of the brightest lights and most inventive new musicians I've run into."
- Rick Walker


"There are no two ways to put it: Onyx Ashanti is an amazing digital musician... Check out this Grammy award winning sound-designer and we believe you'll understand." - - editor,


Discography

Soulfuric, INGROOVES, Talking House, United Music, and Phazz-a-delic as well as my complete discography being available at www.onyxashanti.bandcamp.com for free download

Photos

Bio

Onyx creates Beatjazz as an exercise in creating funky nasty music, IN the moment, FOR, the moment. It is equal parts live looping, sound design and jazz improvisation, done in the aesthetic of a DJ set and sounds like Roger Troutman singing lead for Parliament Funkadelic in a dark Basement club on Tatooine.

The music is constructed and artistically deconstructed by playing and singing slivers of sound into his computer, all controlled by a horn-like instrument called an EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and directed by the vibe of the audience. The Music is layered, piece by piece, one part at a time until it forms into a defined piece of space funk. The sound is evocative of the syncopated rhythms of hip hop, afrobeat, broken beat, house, and jungle, with melodic influences steming from pop, gospel, contemporary jazz, funk and RnB, all improvisationally reinterpreted in new and evolving ways that can only be termed "Beat" "Jazz".

The concept is born of the blending onyx's childhood influences, growing up in Mississippi with roots in the church, and his later, adulthood adventures as a street busker, being part of LA's Southern California rave scene in the late nineties, all the way up to the life altering time he spent in London UK. While there, he toured extensively with Jazzie B. and the Legendary Soul II Soul Sound System , as well as performing with The Basement Jaxx, playing on 3 songs from their Grammy Award winning "Kish Kash" Album, and even having them name the song, "Onyx", on which he sings, after him on their 2005 Greatest Hits Album. Onyx has also played on or released tracks from labels such as Soulfuric, INGROOVES, Talking House, United Music, and Phazz-a-delic, as well as others. Beyond the aforementioned artists, Onyx has played or recorded with artists such as Marshall Jefferson, Robert Owens, Mattias Heilbron, Jay J, Jocelyn Brown, and others. A full listing is included in the promotional package in the "shows and Collaborations" sheet.